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Claiming a Former Spouse’s Child on Joint Taxes

Colorado law says that a parent can’t claim a dependent on their taxes if it won’t benefit them. My ex-wife hasn’t worked all year and so a dependent would not benefit her individually. But she’s filing jointly with her husband and it would benefit their joint tax return to claim the dependent. So, does her husbands income figure into if a dependent can be beneficial on her taxes?

Good question. C.R.S. 14-10-115 (14.5) states in relevant part that “A parent shall not be entitled to claim a child as a dependent … if claiming the child as a dependent would not result in any tax benefit.” I am presuming your x-wife is the primary caretaker and you pay child support. Given that assumption, my answer is since your x-wife would benefit by taking the dependency exemption by filing jointly with her husband, she would be entitled to the exemption.